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Nissan Develops a Self-Cleaning Car 94

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Nicole Arce reports at Tech Times that engineers at Nissan are using a 'super-hydrophobic' and 'oleophobic' paint finish called Ultra-Ever Dry on the new Nissan Note supermini that can repel water and oils, as well as dirt, dust, mud and grit. The paint uses nanotechnology to create a thin air shield above the surface of the car that makes rain, road spray, frost, sleet and standing water roll off the car without tainting its surface at all. 'By creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, it effectively stops standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the car's surface,' says Nissan's press release. Nissan says it has no plans of making the special paint job a standard on factory models but it will consider offering the self-cleaning paint as an aftermarket option. Nissan is now attempting to determine if the material is durable for long-term use on vehicles — and if it will hold up in different weather conditions around the globe. The Japanese automaker plans to test its custom technology this summer in Europe, with researchers based in its England technical facility using a Versa Note for testing."
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Nissan Develops a Self-Cleaning Car

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  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:52PM (#46853321) Journal

    ...for the first 10,000 miles or so. Damage will accumulate and after a while it'll work as well as an old nonstick frying pan.

    • But instead of getting flakes of teflon in your dinner, the guy behind you gets flakes of paint on his windshield?
    • Maybe true. But nothing should stop you from reapplying it.

      • But can you?? I can imagine this stuff degrading to where the self-cleaning action is no longer useful, but still intact to where a new coat of paint wont stick either. It's like state of purgatory for paint.

    • That really depends on whether this is just an oleophobic layer put on top of the paint, or if the paint itself is oleophobic. Like you I suspect it's the former. But if they've managed to create the latter, then it should last until the paint wears through or flakes off.
    • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @09:17PM (#46855841)

      Ultra-ever dry wears out eventually anyways. The guys at Arstechnica tested it [], and it apparently lasted about a week before fading. But on the plus side your car will look REALLY new for that first week!

      • I have seen tests that clearly show similar products work for months (more if kept out of the sun), if properly cared for.

        Still not great, but a lot more than a week.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      I dunno. I've got a non-stick frying pan that I've been using for 10 years that doesn't have any teflon coming off. The secret is: Not too much heat, don't use metal utensils, wash separately, don't shock between hot and cold.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      TFS mentions that they are testing durability. Talk about redundant.

    • This is R&D from a company that sells cars. A general assumption going in is: if the end consumer hasn't bought a new one at that point something has gone horribly wrong.
  • by suprcvic ( 684521 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:54PM (#46853325)
    Self-cleaning sounds a whole lot cooler and is a better marketing term, but it's not really self-cleaning, it just repels things. Not really the same thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So can it handle bird poop? As an owner of Inifiti/Nissan's self healing, scratch-shield paint - I'm not too impressed with their advanced paint tech so far.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @12:59PM (#46853347)

    Insofar as the dirt isn't harmful to my car (salty grime in the winter for instance), I keep my car dirty on purpose. Nothing better than a really dirty car to prevent it from being broken into or stolen when I leave it parked downtown. I just clean the door handles and the license plates.

    • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @01:21PM (#46853467) Homepage
      I take it you were inspired by this [] classic Saturday Night Live sketch?
    • I follow the same idea. Who's going to steal a shit car full of shit and covered in shit? I also follow the same rule with most portable electronics. My macbook is covered in dents and scratches, not on purpose of course, but it still helps bring it's resale value down. Of course, i'm buggered when i come to sell the thing, but i'm pretty confident i could leave it in a Starbucks and no-one would pinch it.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Your crap hasn't been stolen because you've been lucky, not because thieves and fences are the fussy little princesses you imagine them to be.

    • Insofar as the dirt isn't harmful to my car

      The dirt is harmful to your car. So, you have failed.

      If you do not wash and wax your car, then the microfractures which form in the polymer layer over time will permit moisture to attack the pigments in the paint, which causes further paint failure. This permits moisture under the paint, which obviously leads to oxidation of the substrate, which then causes paint failure.

      Wash your damned car. Much if not all of this will be right there in your owner's manual, which you should have read cover to cover.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Insofar as the dirt isn't harmful to my car (salty grime in the winter for instance), I keep my car dirty on purpose.

      Not true,

      Dirt tends to hide corrosives that will damage paint and cause rust over time. Especially if you live on the coast or they use salt on the roads during winter.

      Nothing better than a really dirty car to prevent it from being broken into or stolen when I leave it parked downtown.

      A dirty lambo is still a lambo. If you want a theft proof car, get something like a 2000 Hyundai Getz that isn't worth anything.

  • It probably wears out in a year or two and/or requires $100/month in exotic maintenance supplies, and if you ever put wax on the car it will destroy its self-cleaning properties, etc.


  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @01:10PM (#46853413) Homepage Journal

    I find that the exterior of my car more or less takes care of itself. Sure, it could be better, but it rains and the worst of the crud is washed off. And then the mud kicked up puts more crud on; even if I did put effort into washing it, it would be nearly as dirty within weeks. I practically never wash my car, and they last well over a decade. It's not the limiting factor in the car's life span.

    What I'd really like it something that made the *interior* cleaner. Of course it's not going to neaten up my tool boxes and spare clothes and fast-food wrappers, but if it could somehow at least deal better with stains and dripped mud, that would make me happy.

    I gave strong consideration to the Honda Element for just that reason; it's designed to be hosed out. I ended up going with the Fit for the mileage. And it could really use some detailing. I get my car cleaned every so often not for the outside, but because they also do the inside.

    • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @01:13PM (#46853427) Journal

      And in reality this is a lot to do with modern paint itself. 20 years ago your car would have rusted out very fast because you never cleaned it.

      • If you live in the southern US states, you don't have to deal with snow and ice often, and as a result also don't have to deal with brine and de-icing agents on road as much. Those things will cause good damage to cars when the cars are exposed to them on a regular basis, and in southern states its good to wash your car after a period of having them on the roads.

        There's a reason when you go to Philly or Detroit that most the cars look asstastic, and its not because of standard of living or income. Classic

    • Never mind the car interior . . . if I drive it through my living room window, will it clean the inside of my house . . . ?

      Think of it as an inverse car wash drive through . . .

    • What I want is a self vacuuming car. I don't care that much about the outside, but when there are so many fast-food wrappers on the floor that the pedals don't work well, something needs to happen. If they can invent a Roomba, why not a Carba? Maybe they will need to add a paper shredder to it though.
      • What I want is a self vacuuming car.

        The 2014 Honda Odyssey now comes with a built in vacuum cleaner, so technically, it is a self vacuuming vehicle.

        • by jfengel ( 409917 )

          How does that work? Is it tied in to engine vacuum? Or is it just plugged in to the electrical system?

          • Electrical. It can run when the ignition is in the "accessories" position (times out after eight minutes or so to prevent battery drain). It can also run continuously if the engine is running.
            • by jfengel ( 409917 )

              Ah, ok. Somehow, I find that less neat, if it's just a built-in Dustbuster. Still, as one whose car is in DIRE need of a vacuuming, I gotta say I'd be glad to have the system there.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:16PM (#46854015)

      I gave strong consideration to the Honda Element for just that reason; it's designed to be hosed out.

      Buy a Wrangler? Just take off the roof, remove the doors, and hose it down.

    • Salt []. Do you live where they salt the roads or near an ocean?
      • No. I don't.

        My mother has just reminded me that they salt the roads where she lives, so I should wash my car after my visit to her house last month but one.

        That would be the first time in the ten years I've owned the car that it's been exposed to brine on the roads....

      • by jfengel ( 409917 )

        I live in Maryland. We get salt on the roads, but only a few times a year. Surely it would be better to have it washed off, but the rain seems to do the job well enough. I have yet to have rust as a significant factor.

  • Insects splashing on the car and birds defecating upon it while it is parked is what really makes the car dirty.

    I am not so sure this solves that...

  • Hey, hey you can’t! See? It’s totally frictionless. Oh this must be one mother of a mover!

  • What's the point? Have they not heard of rain at Nissan? I find that rain does a really good job of cleaning my car.

    • Here where I live, people will spend fifty bucks on a book of coupons that entitles them to three or four car washes. I don't get it, but then I drive a stripped black Ford Ranger, not anything that turns heads. Repeated, excessive car-washes in the end damages the paint and you end up with an uglier car faster.

    • It the paint works as advertised (lots of companies are working to develop similar products) it will have a significant effect on the automotive, transport, flight, rail and other industries that move things and people around:
      This coating prevents the build up of corrosive materials and as a result slows the corrosion process, extending the life of vehicles, trains, planes etc. Getting road salt off of a car in the winter is a big thing because road salt eats cars alive. If a coating can prevent it from
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:53PM (#46854223) Homepage

    A material that does this has been sold in the US since 2013. The consumer version is Rust-Oleum Never-Wet []. When new, the surface really will not retain water or mud. But the Rust-Oleum product doesn't provide a tough surface, and the effect doesn't last if the surface is touched or rubbed much. []

    It might make sense for cars. For this to work, you need a surface that you want clean, gets dirty, but isn't a working surface. That's a car body.

  • I wax my car several times a year, both to protect the paint with a sacrificial barrier and to make it really shine (Klasse + Pinnacle for anyone who cares). I use a clay bar once a year as well.

    I'm guessing at best the wax will defeat the repellant qualities of the paint, and at worst the paint may repel the wax.

    I can see this as being good for for people who can't be bothered with keeping their car clean. Probably not so much for people who care.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will the normally abraded nano particle dust and fragments just pass through normal mammals, or will they aggregate iron and other stuff in the blood and organs - starting with eyes, lungs, and digestive system - ripping them away from water and oil. Cell membranes are ... ? Will keeping everything moist help? Like, in a pool. And cycling the pool water through a nanodust catching filter?

  • Let's see how well the paint job stands up to and repels the remains.

  • More aerodynamic cars stay cleaner. Lot of the dirt never reaches the surface of such a car.

    Maybe this paint is neat, but it's a fancy, high tech solution to a problem that already has a low cost, money saving, low tech solution. A solution that, thus far, manufacturers and the public are ignorant of or prejudiced against. Never ceases to amaze me how people can declare aerodynamic shapes "ugly" and use that as the excuse to refuse to have anything to do with it. One rabid Mustang fan I know is even p

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